The Georgia Straight

Antidepres­sants put the boots to reader’s kinks

- By Dan Savage

I KNOW YOU and other sexperts say that kinks are ingrained and not something you can get rid of, but mine have all vanished! Ever since I started on antidepres­sants, my relationsh­ip with my body and how it reacts to pain, both physical and mental, has completely changed. I used to love getting bit and spanked and beat black and blue, but now all that just hurts. I used to love getting humiliated and spit on, commanded to do dirty things, but none of that holds much appeal anywhere.

So what gives? Were these even kinks in the first place if they could vanish so easily with one little pill? Or were these coping mechanisms for emotional problems I no longer have? I know my libido is suppressed due to the meds. Did my kinks just follow my libido out the door?

- The Missing Kink

Antidepres­sants showed your kinks the door at the same time they showed your libido the door.

Zooming out for a second: while some people find that consensual BDSM helps them cope with trauma and/or process their emotional problems—or work through the kind of traumas that create emotional problems—many people into BDSM have no significan­t history of sexual trauma, TMK, or whatever trauma(s) they may have suffered, sexual or otherwise, didn’t create or shape their kinks. And while consensual BDSM

can provide therapeuti­c benefits to a person who 1. has a history of trauma and 2. has an interest in kink—by making them feel in control of their own bodies (even if they’re temporaril­y ceding that control)—not everyone who’s kinky can point to a traumatic event at the root of their kinks. And kinky people shouldn’t have to cite trauma to justify the pleasure they find in getting bit, spanked, beaten, bruised, bound, etcetera.

“It’s become an oft-repeated narrative of many a wellness think piece that BDSM and freaky fetishes are actually okay because they help people deal with their traumatic past,” as writer, comedian, and self-described “Leatherdyk­e Muppet” Chingy Nea wrote in a recent essay about the creeping pathologiz­ing of kink. “What gets you off is not inherently born of trauma or sign of dysfunctio­n, nor does it require suffering to validate it. Being turned on by weird fucked-up things you want to do with another consenting adult is acceptable simply because it’s hot and sexy and fun.”

Okay, TMK, back to your question: antidepres­sants—one little pill that can relieve mental anguish and disappear a libido at the same time—can’t cure kinks but they can suppress them. I mean, think about it… If you’re not horny right now because of the antidepres­sants, you’re not going to be horny for the things that get you off when you are horny because you’re not horny… because the antidepres­sants. If you miss your libido—and if you miss all the hot and sexy and fun and fucked-up things you used to enjoy with other consenting adults— work with your doctor to find a different med that relieves your depression without tanking your libido, TMK, or a different dosage of the med you’re currently on that provides you with emotional benefits without depriving you of your libido and the kinks that come bundled with it.

Follow Chingy Nea on Twitter @ TheGayChin­gy.

I’M A LONGTIME reader who appreciate­s the candour and insight you’ve offered since, what, the 1990s! Yeesh. With that in mind, I have a piece of advice I’d like to share with your readers. I’m a 56-year-old gay man. From my 20s through my 40s, I was as sexually active as often as it was possible for me to be. I loved sex and sought/had it every chance I got. It made me feel alive! Then just as I was about to enter my 50s, I started to have erection problems. I could still come, but a spongy dick is ego-deflating. Not wanting to accept what was going on, I talked to my doctor about it. I’ve tried Levitra, Cialis, and now Viagra, as well as a host of cock rings. Not much of anything seems to help. I miss my sex life, and I miss the confidence that came with it. I didn’t expect this, nor did I plan for it. It’s a lonely feeling.

That’s why I think it’s important for your readers to understand the following: have all the sex you want and that you can while you can so long as you’re not hurting anyone or putting anyone at risk! Do this as often as you want to. Don’t put those sexual fantasies on the back burner. Don’t stay in a relationsh­ip that stifles you sexually! You owe it to yourself to experience what you want to experience today. Don’t take tomorrow for granted as tomorrow might have something else in store for you.

- Guy’s Hard Off Seems Terminal

Good advice—don’t screw tomorrow what you can screw today—and I’m glad you didn’t pass on any of the opportunit­ies that came your way back when you could still “obtain and maintain” a fully erect cock. But I worry you may be passing on all the sexual opportunit­ies that are still available to you. Even if the rock-hard erections of your youth and early middle age are gone forever, GHOST, you can still give and receive pleasure. You can suck a cock, you can get your ass fucked,

you can fist and be fisted. And not every gay dude into daddies wants to be plowed by his hot daddy. Lots of gay guys wanna be orally serviced by hot daddies and lots of gay guys love having their holes eaten and stretched with big toys and fists. You can be a good, giving, and game partner and still have tons of hot and fulfilling sex without ever pulling your dick out.

Which is not to say you shouldn’t pull your dick out—you should. But if you’re feeling self-conscious about your cock,

GHOST, seek out guys who aren’t looking for sexual experience­s that require a hard dick and you’ll feel less inhibited about pulling your dick out and getting yourself off as you get them off.

You already took your own advice,

GHOST; now you need to take mine: stop grieving what you’ve lost and get out there and enjoy what you’ve still got.

 ??  ?? If antidepres­sant medication­s have banished both your libido and your kinks, Dan Savage advises seeking medical help with a different dosage or a new drug. Photo by Artem Labunsky/Unsplash.
If antidepres­sant medication­s have banished both your libido and your kinks, Dan Savage advises seeking medical help with a different dosage or a new drug. Photo by Artem Labunsky/Unsplash.

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